Microblog #46: Rethinking the black-white wealth gap

The Racial Homeownership Gap Needs to Be Closed. But Will It Remedy the Wealth Gap?

Housing advocates consistently highlight the devastating effects that decades of discriminatory policies have had on the ability for black families to build wealth in America. To be sure, the homeownership gap is a major component of the broader wealth inequalities between white and black households. But will increasing ownership opportunities for blacks be enough to eliminate the gap?

Based on new research from a team at Duke University, it’s not that simple. They instead argue that the homeownership gap is just one symptom of greater wealth disparities. And furthermore, simply closing the gap (while helpful and necessary) won’t fully remedy the underlying problem. One example: the average net worth of black homeowner households is still under half that of white homeowner households.

What’s the lesson? Housers should continue to build equitable paths to homeownership for minorities, but also collaborate with other sectors to create more inclusive wealth-building opportunities.

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